As the country’s political climate has stablised, tourists are flocking back to the hotels and beach resorts of Cox’s Bazaar. Businessmen hope to profit again following more than two months of political insecurity which had derailed the country’s tourist industry.
Abul Kashem Shikder, general secretary of Cox’s Bazar Hotel-Motel and Guesthouse Owners Committee said: “Tourists have been booking hotel rooms. With their return, we hope to see some profits after a two-month lull due to political instability.
General Secretary of Cox’s Bazar Sea-Beach Hotel-Motel Owners Committee Nurul Absar said: “We had sustained heavy losses in the last two months and I am pessimistic whether we can recoup that this season. Nevertheless, with political stability returning, anything is possible."
Sources said December and January were the peak season for tourists and resort owners. It’s during this time that tourist come to relax with their families and end the year with comfort and relaxation. However, the hotel occupancy rate was almost zero during the peak season this time around.
Owners of around 50 hotels and motels were busy decorating rooms for tourists.
Probal Dip, St. Martin, Teknaf, Inani, Himchari, Dariyanagar, Dulahajara Bangabandhu Safari Park, Ramu’s Buddhist Temple, Adinath Temple of Moheshkhali and other tourist spots have been redecorated.
Ataus Samad Titu, general secretary of the Cox’s Bazar District Restaurant Owners Committee said, “We opened our restaurants for tourist amid risk but I don’t know what will happen next.”
SM Kibria, president of the Cox’s Bazar Tour Operator Association, said: “All ships on the Teknaf-St. Martin route were cancelled due to lack of tourists, but now we have been offering different packages for tourists. I hope the tourism industry will bounce back again.”
Local businessman related to the industry said the peak season from November to February had passed without any tourists. Holidays like Eid, Puja, Christmas, Victory Day and New Years Eve also did not make any difference.